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How can I have my child evaluated for special education services?

Kids struggle in school for many reasons. If your kid is having that experience, it’s time to consider your rights and options.

If you’re unsure whether your child has special needs, you may want to consider requesting an evaluation. An evaluation can help determine the best method of improving your child’s learning environment for success in the classroom.

Requesting an assessment

If your child’s teacher has expressed concerns about his or her performance in the classroom, they may request an evaluation to determine if he or she qualifies for accommodation or special education services. In addition, the school psychologist, family physician and you yourself have the right to request an assessment.

Simply put, you aren’t required to wait around for someone else to request one. If you think your kid qualifies, it makes sense to go ahead.

A letter requesting an assessment can be sent to your son or daughter’s local school district and you can expect a response from the district within 15 days, as required by law.

This response will outline what you can expect in an assessment. The letter detailing information on the assessment will require your approval before the evaluation process begins. If you have concerns regarding the proposed plan, you may want to discuss them with the district before moving forward.

The evaluation process

Within the next two months, your child will undergo evaluation. The evaluation will determine how your child best learns in a classroom environment.

After the assessment is complete, the school district will meet with you to discuss the results. You can also request the written results before the meeting. If English is your second language, having the plan and results reviewed and explained to you by an experienced attorney may help.

During the meeting, the school district will share with you their recommendation for your child. They will report the results and inform you if your kid qualifies for special education or accommodation services.

The school district’s decision

If the school administration says that your child does not qualify for special education or accommodation services, and you agree, then he or she will go back to the traditional education plan.

If the district decides that your child is eligible for accommodation or special education services, but you disagree, you can fight their decision.

The process of having your child evaluated can be complicated, which is why it’s important to know your rights as a parent when it comes to your child’s education.


Being a kid who is struggling in school is frustrating enough for them, but it can also take a toll on you as their parent. Establishing the best course of action that tailors to your child’s condition will be a tremendous help, both at school and at home.

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